How To Manage A Swollen Knee — RecoverFit
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How To Manage A Swollen Knee

How To Manage A Swollen Knee

If your knee swelling persists or is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, redness, or warmth, or you have lost a significant amount of weight in the last 6/52 and having night sweats that are unexplained, it's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, as these may be signs of a more serious condition.

The management of a swollen knee will depend on the underlying cause of the swelling. Things that can cause swelling in the knee may include; sprains, strains, meniscus damage, fractures, arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, gout, infection. So appropriate management may vary and it’s extremely important to seek help and advice from an appropriate health care practitioner. 

Rest the knee: Avoid activities that may worsen the swelling, such as running, jumping, or squatting. Resting the knee can help to reduce inflammation, promote healing and allow the tissue time to desensitise.

Cold Therapy: Applying ice to the knee can help to relieve pain. You can apply cold therapy to the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Making sure not to cause an ice burn by applying it for too long or too frequently.

Elevate the knee: Elevating the knee above heart level can help to reduce swelling and improve circulation. You can prop up the knee on a pillow or use a foam wedge to keep it elevated and works well combining it with compression.

Compression: Wearing a compression around the knee or using passive modalities like a Normatec or Aquillo can help to reduce swelling by preventing fluid build-up in the affected area and encourage our venous return and lymphatic filtration. However, be sure not to compress too tightly, as this can impair circulation.

Over-the-counter pain relievers: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen can help to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. However, be aware that NSAIDs can interfere with tissue healing in the early phases, so it's important to talk to your doctor or health care professional about whether they are appropriate for your particular situation and that you are safe to take them.

Physiotherapy: Depending on the cause of the swelling, your doctor may recommend physiotherapy to help you gain control over your swelling, improve strength and range of motion. 

Previous article Top Tips for managing pain and inflammation post Knee Surgery

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This article has been written by Adey, 
RecoverFit Physiotherapist.

Adey Saunderson 


Having worked in professional sport for over 10 years, which included the Rugby Premership and The English Football League, Adey has a wealth of experience with dealing with injury and rehabilitation in the sports world. His desire, commitment, people skills and knowledge are why he has a great reputation in the clubs and teams he has been involved with. Alongside working for RecoverFit, Adey also works in the military as a physiotherapist. 

DISCLAIMER: The content provided in these articles is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. The advice and tips shared in these articles are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in these articles. The author and publisher of this blog are not responsible for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of any suggestions, recommendations, or procedures described in these articles.